The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles

By Madeline Miller

  • Release Date: 2012-03-06
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 2,304 Ratings


“At once a scholar’s homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist….A book I could not put down.”
—Ann Patchett

“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. 

A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Miller’s monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction’s brightest lights—and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.


  • Entertaining but somewhat misguided

    By Chase Wilder
    While I’m willing to admit that this novel is entertaining, it misses the target when it comes to recasting the “Iliad”. The novel is based around the story of “the Wrath of Achilles”. Achilles — who is half-god and half-human— refuses to support the Greek troops invading Troy after he is insulted by his arrogant commander-and-chief, Agamemnon. He sulks at his camp during battles while the Greek army is being destroyed. This desolation of the Greek army is supposed to remind the Greeks of his worth toward their cause. It is only after his companion, Patroclus, is killed that Achilles furiously returns to battle. What makes this book interesting is that it is narrated from the perspective of Patroclus, a character that comes and goes throughout the “Iliad.” The problem though is that there is too much of a focus on the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. The novel spends so much time dedicated to developing the connection between these two characters, and seemingly much less time on the action within the war itself. Therefore the main crux of the book — the war — has much less significance. Also, while there are parts of this novel that are imaginative, creative and thoughtful, there are many moments where the writing is cringeworthy: “He seemed to swell beneath my touch, to ripen. He smelled like almonds and Earth. He pressed against me crushing my lips to wine.” Sections of this book like the quote above are terrible. It sometimes seems like your reading some sort of Greek Mythology soft-core porn. But if you can overlook that major flaw, it’s definitely entertaining. I’m just not sure that it serves justice to the classic original storyline.
  • god

    By Karina Castaneda
    I am crying
  • Too good not to read

    By Zacharyfrancisco
    The best book I have read in a awhile. My heart breaks that it’s over but I am so glad I read this. “This and this and this..”
  • heart broken

    By isabellesha
    I don’t cry but this book made me ugly sob at one in the morning! Love the book!
  • Interesting Read

    By troysaphrodite
    The story from the perspective of Patroclus, is different. I enjoyed it.
  • The most authentic, beautiful writing + love story

    By b_ernice
    A beautiful and wrenching love story, that I could not help but finish in one day! This book made me realise/remember how powerful, vigorous and beautiful love can be. The night afterwards, I couldn't help but replay Patroclus and Achilles' relationship over and over again in my head. From the beginning, I developed a great fondness for the two main characters of the book, both of whose redeeming qualities shone through immediately and intensely, so that the readers would root for them and swoon at their intimacy and connection throughout the tale. Their thoughts and feelings from boyhood to manhood, and the evolution of their relationship were all so incredibly authentic and real (from my (a woman's) perspective); the love that they bred was tender and divine. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read the MOST authentic, touching and the LEAST cheesy/cliche love story between two amazing characters. P.S. This is my new favourite book.
  • Heartbreakingly beautiful

    By Alima A.
    Stunning. Absolutely stunning.
  • Amazing

    By Caroline2848
    Oh my god. Read this book.
  • A gorgeous tale of love

    By PwincessChicky💋
    Several times this book had me speechless and on the verge of tears. It was written so beautifully; you can almost feel each character. You can literally feel Achilles and Patroclus; I love them, I feel for them, and I believe a piece of them lives in the best and worst of us. They were so honest and raw......I could go on. This is my favorite book of all time, and I would give anything to reread it for the first time. Wow! Wow! Wow! The lover in me is quivering, and if you are anything like me, you will feel the same after reading this novel.
  • WOW

    By Robin.Goblin
    This book was absolutely beautiful. Highly recommend 10/10